A paracosm is a detailed imaginary world. A shared fantasy is a paracosm of sorts.
The shared fantasy is a paracosm with two imaginary friends: Father (false self)-Mother (YOU, the intimate partner)-Son (narcissist) = holy family = trinity (in the Kabbalah where many attributes of god and of creation are feminine; Jung’s archetypes).
The intimate partner as a mother allows narcissist to SAFELY explore femininity in general and his femininity (auto-eroticism and in some cases, latent homosexuality) in particular (without the threat of sex).
Shared fantasy is always antisocial because rejects real life, adulthood, and is paranoid (shared psychosis: “We against the World”).
Idealization as self-gaslighting because it is false and grandiose. The narcissist will sacrifice his life to defend his superiority/grandiosity. When we come across someone who refuses to grow up, rejects adult chores, roles, skills, and responsibilities, assumes the mantle of a petulant child, and would not invest or commit in any undertaking or relationship - our reflexive reaction is revulsion coupled with disrespectful contempt.
Women feel deceived and fooled and they respond this way to a Peter Pan type: they shame and humiliate him in public, sometimes by openly and ostentatiously cheating on him with ripe adult males.
Men abscond with the Puer’s women and with his property, both material and intellectual. They ostracize him and subject him to a toxic mix of ritualized aggression and acidulous derision. If he is rich or famous or powerful, they await his downfall with glee or precipitate it maliciously and enviously.
These reactive behavior patterns are ancient and in big part biological. The stunted personal growth and arrested development of the eternal adolescent threaten the survival of the species by inhibiting procreation and child-rearing, for example.
The Puer Aeternus is also essentially a free-rider: he enjoys goods and services produced by others but evades rendering a productive contribution to the collective effort. His conspicuous absenteeism - often cloaked in a self-justifying ideology - undermines the survival and the welfare of the many by wasting scarce resources and potentials and by shirking the proportionate sharing of the communal burden.
Refusing to grow up is, therefore, an antisocial act and elicits the same attitudes and responses reserved to egregious criminal behavior. Why would a narcissist choose to renounce sex and the pleasures of intimacy and succor with a partner? Why would he transform such a decision into an ideology of superiority akin to a religious tenet?
There are two etiologies to cerebral narcissism:
1. When there is overwhelming efficacy in extracting narcissistic supply via intellectual pyrotechnics (when the narcissist is truly astoundingly gifted); and
2. Avoidance in the wake of repeated failures in relationships: sex invariably leads to the formation of a shared fantasy which results in betrayal and cheating by the disgruntled partner and life-threatening mortification. Cerebral narcissism is the strategic outcome of pain- or hurt-aversion.
Every few years - or decades - the cerebral narcissist tries again to become somatic. Such attempts are based on mistaken and counterfactual beliefs that he or the world had changed, or that he had finally found the right partner. So, he boldly ventures forth only to rediscover long-forgotten facts and lessons:
1. His body is far inferior to his mind as a tool for extracting supply (he is unattractive); and
2. Sex still leads inexorably to failure, betrayal, cheating, and mortification because he is a child, not a man and cannot meet a woman's emotional needs.
Reminded of why he chose to withdraw in the first place, so many years or decades ago, the cerebral narcissist then reverts to his dominant mode as a cerebral and again eschews sex and intimacy. Until the next round, if any.
But is narcissism a CHOICE?
Narcissist in prison: prosocial, communal, submissive, obedient, conforming – proof that narcissism is choice+self-efficacious reaction to incentives.
But in reality he is an impotent infantile loser with zero self-efficacy - and, deep inside, he knows it. Hence his avoidance of all true commitment and investment: he dreads yet another proof of his disability and failure.
Did you contribute to your breakup and to the dysfunction of your relationship? Undoubtedly.
Whenever two people who are profoundly mismatched and incompatible insist on having a relationship - let alone a shared fantasy - they BOTH generate a dynamic which leads inexorably to the dissolution of the liaison.
It is natural, common, and healthy to seek to undermine the sick dyad and free yourself to pursue self-actualization and happiness.